Our Days In New England
    On Sunday, September 19th, we departed the Rochester, N.Y., area for a circuitous ride through New England.  As we travelled through “315(**)” country–along NY Route 104–we found that nearly everyone had ‘treasures’ [junk cars in front yards, fridges and couches on front porches, etc]. Although the area IS located in the despicable State of New York, the small towns and villages were quaint; the scenery just starting to ‘color.’
    Around ‘noon-ish’ we stopped at a Walmart Supercenter in Malone, N.Y., to pick up some stuff we could turn into a lunch.  An ultra-clean and orderly store; employees of the utmost competence and friendliness!!  This store is tied-for-first as our “best Walmart-Anywhere;” the other being the Supercenter in Salem, Virginia.  These two stores ‘far-and-away’ surpass our local “third-world rathole,” the Supercenter on Hudson Avenue, Rochester, N.Y.

**[“315” is the area code for Wayne County, N.Y., and eastward.  “315ers:” A ‘nick-name’ for anyone who has a car on blocks in the front yard; who has a fridge on their front porch; who rarely mows their yard; who doesn’t care about the appearance of their buildings and property.]

    We had some business to conduct in Plattsburgh so that was our end-point for the first day.  We arrived in the area, mid-afternoon and checked into the BEST WESTERN ‘Inn At Smithfield.’  I’ve always been “price-driven” since my days of the family travelling from base-to-base while in the Air Force.  In recent years–when it’s been just the two of us–I’ve been “stung” staying in those ubiquitous, CHEAP ‘ratholes!’ From my perspective, the Best Westerns–anywhere–are expensive.  After recent ‘stingings,’ not so much!!   The ‘Inn At Smithfield‘ proved to be just what the doctor ordered.  We both have back injuries of one sort or another so we need an in-room jacuzzi tub; as luck would have it, this hotel had one available.  A very restful, refreshing stay was had by all!!  A reasonable price for all the amenities available to travellers.  Our one-night charge totalled $119.87; very reasonable!!
The hotel staff recommended the ‘Homestead Restaurant,’ nearby.  We had an excellent breakfast, reasonable prices PLUS real conversations with real people!!

[BEST WESTERN ‘Inn at Smithfield;’ 446 Route 3, Plattsburgh, N.Y., Phone: 518-561-7750; FAX: 518-561-9431; http://www.nineplatt.com/; karen@nineplatt.com.  The Homestead Restaurant,  364 Tom Miller Rd, Plattsburgh, NY; Tel: (518) 563-4452; Unaware of a website.]

    After leasurely completing our business, we inquired about getting into Vermont; either using roadways around Lake Champlain or the ferry across it.  The “young Miss Lovely” is not at all a fan of water more than ankle-deep!!  I thought the ferry would be disqualified on the basis that Lake Champlain is more than ankle-deep; alas, no!  The charge was a reasonable $13.25 plus tax [vehicle and driver plus one passenger].  There are several origination/ termination points; we used Plattsburgh-to-Grand Isle, Vt.  The crossing took 12-15 minutes on a glass-smooth Lake Champlain.

[ http://www.ferry.com/; Corp office: 802-864-9804; Our departure: Plattsburgh Dock, 820 Commodore Thomas McDonough Highway, Plattsburgh, N.Y., 12901; Our arrival:  Grand Isle Dock, 1268 Gordon’s Landing, Grand Isle, Vt., 05458]

Plattsburgh ferry ramp-facing eastward

A ferry approaching the Plattsburgh dock

Our arrival put us on
Apple Island, Vermont; we then crossed a causeway onto mainland Vermont.  Our first stop was a “tourist-trappy” roadside stand to buy the required Vermont Maple Syrup for friends and family.  We also bought a ‘Vermont’ coffee cup for the young Miss Lovely then leasurely continued on our trek into that beautiful, traquil land called New England.

This is but Part One of our vacation trek; to be continued as I find time to compile the text and photos.  Stay tuned…………….